Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Visions of Shamrocks

While everyone else is dreaming of sugar plums and presents under the tree, my mind is filled with visions of half marathon training since this week is officially my first week of training for the Shamrock Half Marathon.

But first, I suppose I should report on what is making this training possible: last Tuesday I officially "graduated" from physical therapy! When Steve walked up to my therapy table with my file in hand and said, "So is today graduation day?" I didn't get what he was saying at first. I suppose that PT has become such a regular part of my life that I hadn't considered the fact that one day I would no longer need it.

Once I realized what "graduation day" meant, I was ecstatic and immediately whipped out the training plan that I had had folded up in the pocket of my Lulu jacket for a month. I shoved it under his nose like a kid showing off their straight "A" report card to Dad and said, "Awesome! So can I do this training plan and the Shamrock Half??"

Steve approved the plan that I had chosen, with a few minor adjustments. This plan is the most conservative little baby beginner half marathon plan ever. Don't laugh when you see it:

Compared with last year, this thing is a breeze. And a good thing too, because I'm afraid that I may have lost more of my cardiovascular endurance than I thought.

My rules for this training cycle are:
  • No back to back days of running. No matter what. I'm already having trouble with this one. It is really hard to not just put on my shoes and go out when I feel like it.
  • No more than 3 days of running per week accompanied by...
  • 2-3 days of cross training.
  • No more than a 10% increase week over week, as much as possible. There are two spots where the increase is slightly more, but they are Steve-approved.
  • As many miles as possible on soft surfaces like the vita course or the median of Monument Avenue, at least through January.
  • Ice foot after each and every run.
With these in mind, I've sketched out a schedule that looks something like this:
  • Monday - Run
  • Tuesday - Cross training: yoga or bike
  • Wednesday - Swim or Rest
  • Thursday - Run
  • Friday - Swim or Rest
  • Saturday - Run
  • Sunday - Swim
Of course I doubt that's how things will actually work out as the training progresses. I might play with the run days and attempt M-W-F instead of a weekend long run. This is what I did last year, and it worked out well. The only problem with that plan is that M-W-F are the best days for swimming at the Y so we'll have to see.

And I've officially just bored you to death. Sorry, I'm just happy I get to use the word "training" again and actually have a plan to plot. Yippee!

So, to my first run this past Monday. Things didn't start out so well. As I changed from work clothes to workout gear, I realized that I had forgotten a sports bra. The thought of sweating into my nice bra was not appealing, but I was scheduled to meet Greg, the weather was nice, and it was only 3 miles.

"Suck it up," I said to myself.

So I did. And boy was I going to regret it.

The run itself was good. Earlier in the day, I had told Greg that he needed to "make sure I don't go too fast" because I was (and am) fighting off a cold and wasn't feeling so hot. By the afternoon I had gotten DayQuil-fueled second wind and the whole not-going-fast thing went out the window. Instead Greg pushed the pace and we ended up running negative splits with Mile 3 being an 8:10.

I felt tired - dog tired - at the end of the 3 miles. I'm still not sure if this is because I've lost THAT much endurance or because of this pesky cold that just refuses to go.

I had also earned myself a first time visit to Chafe City. Wearing my underwire bra to run 3 miles had not been such a good idea. At all. The results are too gruesome to describe in a public blog, but let's just say that it was a very painful post-run shower that evening and Neosporin and Band Aids have replaced Steve in the New Best Friend department.

In positive news, nothing else hurt when we were finished. In fact, these days I've almost forgotten that my foot was broken.



  1. This didn’t bore me at all. In fact I hope to keep checking in as I am training for the same event (my first half), and this is my first week of “training” as well. And the first time I’ve ever used the word “training” to describe anything in my life for that matter. I think I may benefit from observing a more experienced runner’s training plan.

    I’m a newbie so I have forbidden myself from running two days in a row to prevent injuring my still under-conditioned runner’s body. I run on M-W-F with intentions of working in my longer runs on Fridays. I do weight training five days a week, with stationary cycling on my non running days. I don’t have access to a pool at my very modestly priced gym.

    Because I am such a new runner (3.5 months), and obviously not experienced with training plans I research them constantly and will be adjusting mine as I pick up new tips. I’m planning to expand my current cross training sessions and some of my longer runs to focus more on longer times instead of strictly distance so that I can hopefully get my body more adjusted to the idea of running/moving/breathing for 2+ continuous hours. We’ll see what happens from there. But I’m pretty stoked to do this. It’s a personal thing that I have to do for so many reasons. And I will.

    Happy Training and good luck.

  2. Good luck! I ran that race in 2011. It was fun but windy and COLD. The stretch that goes through the fort is right next to the ocean so we got blown all over the place and it made my knee ache. Hoping for better weather for you! And good luck with training!

    1. Thanks, Tori! I ran it last year (2012) and am looking forward to doing it again.